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Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) Foundation Adds Top German Universities as HSA Academic Centers of Excellence

TU Darmstadt and FAU Researching, Developing HSA-Compliant Technologies

BEAVERTON, OR – Dec. 6, 2016 – The Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation has expanded its Academic Partnership Program with the addition of two new HSA Academic Centers of Excellence - Technische Universitaet (TU) Darmstadt, and Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU), both in Germany. The universities will undertake critical research that will help to further proliferate HSA platforms.

HSA is a standardized platform design that unlocks the performance and power efficiency of the parallel computing engines found in most modern electronic devices. It allows developers to easily and efficiently apply the hardware resources—including CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, FPGAs, fabrics and fixed function accelerators—in today's complex systems-on-chip (SoCs).

"Both TU Darmstadt and FAU are working on a number of innovative HSA projects that will have significant impact not just in the academic community, but also potentially for large-scale commercial use, particularly in data center settings," said HSA Foundation President Dr. John Glossner.

The Embedded Systems and Applications Group (ESA) of TU Darmstadt (Germany), headed by Professor Andreas Koch, is working with the HSA Foundation to explore how reconfigurable computing (specifically via Field-Programmable Gate Arrays or FPGAs), can be employed in processing units within the HSA framework.

"Our collaboration with the HSA Foundation is enabling us to make excellent progress on research topics that would have been extremely difficult to tackle without the additional insight provided by the industry partners. We look forward to advancing the architecture of heterogeneous computers for both academic as well as industrial use-cases," said Professor Koch.

According to FAU Professor Dietmar Fey, the Department of Computer Science is currently focusing on integrating image processing accelerators in an FPGA and developing an HSA compliant interface. FAU is also collaborating on HSA technology with TU Darmstadt's Embedded Systems and Applications Group; and is working on a technical prototype with HSA Foundation members.

"Our Academic Center of Excellence relationship is now having a significant impact – we're now able to reach out to many industrial partners and work with them in establishing a standardization for heterogeneous computing platforms. It's now becoming possible to combine fundamental research from a university with real world industry architectures and applications," said Professor Fey.

"Professor Koch and Professor Fey have extensive experience in heterogeneous platform architecture design," noted Paul Blinzer, a Fellow in the Systems Software group at Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). "Their participation in Heterogeneous System Architecture will advance state-of-the art research in heterogeneous systems."

Last month the HSA Foundation announced the first Academic Center of Excellence at Northeastern University in Boston. To learn more about engaging with the HSA Foundation on academic programs, contact

About TU Darmstadt

TU Darmstadt was founded in 1877. In 1882, the university established the first chair in Electrical Engineering worldwide. The university is a member of TU9, an alliance of leading institutes of technology in Germany. TU Darmstadt offers a comprehensive spectrum of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs, with a focus on the natural and engineering sciences. The university, which also hosts two Fraunhofer Institutes, performs world-class research and actively collaborates with academic and industrial partners nationally and internationally.

About FAU

Founded in 1743, FAU is a research university with an international perspective and one of the largest universities in Germany, with 40,174 students, 256 degree programs, 4,000 academic staff (including over 647 professors), and 500 partnerships with universities all over the world. FAU's outstanding research and teaching is reflected in top positions in both national and international rankings, as well as the high amount of DFG funding which its researchers are able to secure.

About the HSA Foundation

The HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) Foundation is a non-profit consortium of SoC IP vendors, OEMs, Academia, SoC vendors, OSVs and ISVs, whose goal is making programming for parallel computing easy and pervasive. HSA members are building a heterogeneous computing ecosystem, rooted in industry standards, which combines scalar processing on the CPU with parallel processing on the GPU, while enabling high bandwidth access to memory and high application performance with low power consumption. HSA defines interfaces for parallel computation using CPU, GPU and other programmable and fixed function devices, while supporting a diverse set of high-level programming languages, and creating the foundation for next-generation, general-purpose computing.

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